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The Rebound Effect for Passenger Vehicles

  • Linn, Joshua


    (Resources for the Future)

The United States and many other countries are dramatically tightening fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles. Higher fuel economy reduces per-mile driving costs and may increase miles traveled, known as the rebound effect. The magnitude of the elasticity of miles traveled to fuel economy is an important parameter in welfare analysis of fuel economy standards, but all previous estimates impose at least one of three behavioral assumptions: (a) fuel economy is uncorrelated with other vehicle attributes; (b) fuel economy is uncorrelated with attributes of other vehicles owned by the household; and (c) the effect of gasoline prices on vehicle miles traveled is inversely proportional to the effect of fuel economy. Relaxing these assumptions yields a large effect; a one percent fuel economy increase raises driving 0.2 to 0.4 percent.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-13-19-rev.

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Date of creation: 08 Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-13-19-rev
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  1. Hunt Allcott & Nathan Wozny, 2012. "Gasoline Prices, Fuel Economy, and the Energy Paradox," NBER Working Papers 18583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Li, Shanjun & Linn, Joshua & Muehlegger, Erich, 2012. "Gasoline Taxes and Consumer Behavior," Working Paper Series rwp12-006, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Thomas H. Klier & Joshua Linn, 2009. "The price of gasoline and the demand for fuel economy: evidence from monthly new vehicles sales data," Working Paper Series WP-09-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. West, Sarah E., 2004. "Distributional effects of alternative vehicle pollution control policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 735-757, March.
  5. Greene, David L., 2012. "Rebound 2007: Analysis of U.S. light-duty vehicle travel statistics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 14-28.
  6. Christopher R. Knittel & Ryan Sandler, 2013. "The Welfare Impact of Indirect Pigouvian Taxation: Evidence from Transportation," NBER Working Papers 18849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-62, March.
  8. Frondel, Manuel & Ritter, Nolan & Vance, Colin, 2012. "Heterogeneity in the rebound effect: Further evidence for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 461-467.
  9. Ye Feng & Don Fullerton & Li Gan, 2005. "Vehicle Choices, Miles Driven, and Pollution Policies," NBER Working Papers 11553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kenneth A. Small & Kurt Van Dender, 2007. "Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel: The Declining Rebound Effect," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-52.
  11. Mark R. Jacobsen, 2013. "Evaluating US Fuel Economy Standards in a Model with Producer and Household Heterogeneity," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 148-87, May.
  12. Anderson, Soren T. & Kellogg, Ryan & Sallee, James M., 2013. "What do consumers believe about future gasoline prices?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 383-403.
  13. Thomas Klier & Joshua Linn, 2012. "New‚Äźvehicle characteristics and the cost of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(1), pages 186-213, 03.
  14. Meghan R. Busse & Christopher R. Knittel & Florian Zettelmeyer, 2013. "Are Consumers Myopic? Evidence from New and Used Car Purchases," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 220-56, February.
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